2-HOBA Phase 2 Clinical Trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Study Purpose

This is a phase 2 study to determine 2-HOBA's tolerability, safety, and effect on isoLG-adducts in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Up to 32 subjects will be randomized to 750mg 2-HOBA or matching placebo three times a day for 4 weeks. As primary outcome measures investigators will compare tolerability and adverse events and changes in isoLG adducts in active and placebo arms. Among prespecified exploratory outcomes investigators will compare changes in markers of inflammation, DAS28 score, and 24-hour blood pressure in active and placebo arms. This pilot study will inform the feasibility and design of future studies to examine the efficacy of 2-HOBA in RA patients.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Written informed consent.
  • - Age ≥18 years.
  • - Meets 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Rheumatoid Arthritis classification criteria.
  • - ≥ 4 tender or swollen joints.
  • - No change in DMARDs, glucocorticoids in ≥ 4 weeks.
  • - If of childbearing potential, willingness to use effective birth throughout study and 4 weeks after completion of the study (examples: condom, diaphragm, oral contraceptive pill, intrauterine device) - If using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), willingness to discontinue use of NSAIDs for 2 weeks prior to the study and throughout the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • - Active cancer except non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • - Active infection.
  • - Concomitant inflammatory autoimmune disease.
  • - Major surgery in ≤ 3 months.
  • - Aspirin allergy.
  • - Use of MAO-I.
  • - Estimated creatinine clearance <30 ml/min.
- Prior diagnosis of liver cirrhosis or the following abnormal liver function studies: AST or ALT >1.5x the upper limit of normal or total bilirubin ≥1.5 mg/dl

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Phase 2
Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Michelle Ormseth, MD, MSCI
Principal Investigator Affiliation Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Additional Details

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting 1% of the population. Aggressive treatment is a fundamental therapeutic strategy to improve disease-related outcomes and cardiovascular disease, which contributes to excess mortality in RA. Thus, therapeutics targeting novel pathways that treat RA and reduce cardiovascular risk are needed. A potential target is blocking the proinflammatory, immunogenic, and proatherogenic consequences of isolevuglandins (isoLGs). IsoLGs are highly reactive dicarbonyl products of oxidative stress that bind covalently to proteins causing conformational changes rendering them immunogenic and proinflammatory. Two decades of work at Vanderbilt led to the identification of 2-hydroxybenzylamine (2-HOBA) as a highly effective scavenger of reactive dicarbonyls such as isoLGs. Scavenging reactive dicarbonyls is preferable to using antioxidants because reactive oxygen species are necessary for normal cellular function. In animal models of autoimmunity, hypertension, and atherosclerosis 2-HOBA reduced inflammation, autoantibodies, blood pressure, and atherosclerosis, and in human phase 1 clinical studies in healthy volunteers 2-HOBA was well tolerated. In this phase 2 study investigators will randomize up to 32 subjects with RA meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria to 750mg 2-HOBA or matching placebo three times a day for 4 weeks. Randomized subjects will have study visits at week 0 and week 4. At each visit a history and physical exam with joint counts, questionnaire, blood draw and 24-hour blood pressure will be performed.

Arms & Interventions


Experimental: 2-HOBA

2-HOBA acetate (2-Hydroxybenzlamine acetate) 750mg (provided as three 250mg capsules) three times per day for 4 weeks

Placebo Comparator: Placebo

Matching placebo (provided as three capsules) three times per day for 4 weeks


Drug: - 2-HOBA

2-HOBA acetate (2-Hydroxybenzlamine acetate) 750mg (provided as three 250mg capsules) three times per day for 4 weeks

Other: - Placebo

Placebo (provided as three capsules) three times a day for 4 weeks

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee




Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Nashville, Tennessee, 37232

Site Contact

Annette M Oeser, BS, MLAS

[email protected]